Newsletter November 2008

by: Carol Carpenter

A great start for October with beautiful blue skies and sunshine. Earlier in the year we won a trip with Dolphin Seafaris, but because of commitments we were unable to go in summer, we decided that this month would be the ideal time. It was an absolutely thrilling day - quite windy therefore the sea was somewhat choppy but there was only one person - a German tourist who felt a little sea-sick. We booked for 1.00 but we did not actually leave until 1.30. Thinking about it - maybe we should have booked for an early morning trip as that might have been a better time to watch the dolphins.

The Rib (Rigid inflatable boat) took us about 13kms out to sea, where there is a shelf that drops to about 100mts. According to the guys driving the Rib this is full of marine life and normally where you can see the dolphins. We were unlucky this time as we didn’t manage to see a single dolphin, but we did manage to spot a minky whale. How fantastic!- she emerged about three times and was about 30ft long and is the only whale to have a dorsal fin.

Unfortunately she disappeared so quickly that it was impossible to take photographs of her. Normally if whales are around you will rarely see dolphins but they are happy to be with minky whales. I am sure a lot of you have been on these trips but if not these guys are superb. We returned to Lagos Marina 1hr 40 mins later, more than a little wind swept after an exhilarating 35knot trip across the ocean.
For further info contact Tel 282799209 Marina de Lagos or 282496526 Marina de Portimao. www.DOLPHINSEAFARIS.COM

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We managed to meet up with Richard, Ingrid, Gordon and Sandy with their neighbours and mutual friends of ours Mimi and Guido who are from Belgium. Roy decided that we would try La Gondola in Ferragudo, as we had previously enjoyed lunch there. The food here is all home made and the Pasta is delicious and very light. The owners made us very welcome and supplied us with an array of antipasto for our starter. It was a great evening and everyone enjoyed themselves. At the end of the meal the owners then brought over two bottles of dessert wine, on the house, which was really very generous of them. It was such a shame that Karen and Nick were unable to join us, due to Karen being so poorly - I never realised just how bad she was – so we had to raise a toast to ‘absent friends’ I hope the operation is successful and that she has a speedy recovery. Later that week we joined Richard and Ingrid again to enjoy a meal at O Salmao in Monte Carvoeiro, we were also joined by Bruce and his wife Julie, it was the first time I had met them and it was a very nice evening.
We also enjoyed a great evening at ‘The Irish Times’ this month helping Graham celebrate his 60th birthday. As usual the bar was packed and the food was delicious. Graham was really quite merry by the time we arrived and even merrier when it was time for the speech, as you can see in the photos - he still managed to blow out the candles. Thanks Graham it was a really great night.

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The Better living in Portugal exhibition took place on 11th and 12th October. This year there were fewer exhibitors and also fewer visitors. We walked around on Saturday and it was very quiet. The exhibitors that we were interested in were nowhere to be seen. Sunday was a little busier but this was because it was the Mamamaratona 2008 where more than 2,000 runners and walkers participated. I walked the 8km again this year, managing to complete in 1hr 5mins which I was very pleased with. It’s always a great day and 28,000 euros was raised on the day with the final amount expected to be much higher once the sponsorship money has been collected.

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Sunday was also the start of the Global Ocean Race. Families and friends waved the sailors off on there 30,000 mile adventure around the world. If you are interested in following their progress you can visit the official website
There has also been the fourth annual Big Game Fishing competition at Portimao marina. Teams from around the world competed and the English team, Big Black One, won the competition. The team caught a white marlin on Saturday and a blue marlin on Sunday, with the largest fish being caught by the team weighing approximately 225 kilos.
The World Super bike Championship race starts on November 2nd. At the new Algarve race circuit in Mexilhoeira Grande. A corner of the track is to be named in honour of Craig Jones who died following a race accident in the U.K on August 4th. Irish Motorsports painter, Lance Wilson, will be presenting the parents of Craig with a picture he has painted of the racer in a ceremony before the race begins.
We were invited to Porches Pottery the other evening to celebrate their 40th anniversary of the specialist pottery shop. Friends and clients enjoyed the party atmosphere, whilst listening to music played on the scimitar and Turkish drums. A new design was also launched named Shamrock, showing that the team are constantly working on new products. The pottery still operates from the original building used 40 years ago and is managed by the family of one of the founders, Irish artist Patrick Swift. The food was supplied by Morag Richardson who runs the adjoining Café Bar Bacchus and was absolutely mouth watering. The Café will be closing on 5th December and will re-open in February.

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There are still no signs of any alterations being done in CVO
but I suppose they will wait until the half- term holiday makers have returned home. There are two sites awaiting approval for the new Intermarche but again nothing has been decided. There is a new Factory Outlet Shop in Lagoa which is just up from Goodwoods by the traffic lights. I am absolutely delighted as I buy a lot of bedding from their shop in Alvor so to have one just down the road is brilliant.

There is also a new Centro Saude being built in CVO. This is next to the new school which is situated behind the Indian restaurant ‘O Castelo’ and up the side road by Mare D'arte. Other than this CVO remains the same.

We have been lucky to get into Happy’s for their last night celebrations, before they close for their Christmas break, apparently we got the last table as they have been booked up for sometime. Should be a good night and hopefully I shall get some good photos for next month’s newsletter.

That’s all the news for this month I just can’t believe it’s nearly Christmas.